Around the table
I came home this evening after 6 hours in a car to find that a neighbor had brought dinner over as a surprise. In 2016, there are fewer sublime joys than a home cooked meal that someone was thoughtful enough to share with you. The power and connection that can be created by sharing a meal is being lost at the speed of life. The average American eats one in five meals in their car and one in four eats a fast food meal every day.
Study after study shows that student who don't eat with their family have more instances of truancy and are 40% more likely to be overweight versus those who don't. So when a neighbor brings a meal over to share with you, something amazing happens to you. You enjoy that meal more and pine to spend more time eating with friends and family.
My wife and I a few years back started "neighbor dinner" where each week we go to someone's house and share a family style meal. This tiny idea has made some profound connections amongst the people who are a part of this social experiment and in a country where one-third of the people in it don't know their neighbors this discipleship of community can make a lasting impact.
I have been making my way through Cooked on Netflix and in the water episode they spend a lot of time explaining how there is a direct correlation between the time you spend cooking in your own home and obesity. So what would it take for you to cook a meal with your friends or family once a week? What about your kids? Your neighbors?
We bond over food in a way that we don't in any other social setting. So as you deal with the onslaught of the social media vitriol every day, maybe food is the answer. If you have listened to one of my podcasts you know that "surprise and delight" are my favorite things. The ability to surprise and delight with food could be the secret to a longer, healthier life.